Maggie Garrett, left, and Alyssa Monger hold up certificates after participating in the first ‘Whidbey Has Talent’ at Oak Harbor High School last year. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

Whidbey talent show expands its search

Organizers of Whidbey Has Talent are searching farther and wider to add to the talent pool for this spring’s show.

Auditions this year also will include a South Whidbey location, exposing more youth to the talent show, which takes place Sunday, April 9 at Oak Harbor High School.

“That, of course, will raise the bar on the level of competition,” said JR Russell, who’s producing the event.

Whidbey Has Talent debuted last year with nearly 30 acts in three different age groups.

This year, $1,500 in cash awards will be divided up among the top three finishers in the junior (middle school age) and senior (high school) divisions.

There also is a presentation category for elementary school age children.

Students also emcee the event, which is sponsored by the Whidbey Playhouse with support from several island businesses.

“I think it’s great that we’re trying to make it more island-wide,” said Trianna Kobelin, 16, of Oak Harbor, who will be among the emcees for the second year.

“We’ll be able to see more talent and will have more youth showing up hopefully.”

Auditions will be held between March 6-11 in four different locations: the Whidbey Children’s Theater in Langley, the Whidbey Playhouse in Oak Harbor, Oak Harbor Senior Center and Oak Harbor High School.

Judges will be on hand for auditions and mentoring will be offered during follow-up sessions for those new to the stage or for those who just would like some guidance.

A long list of music teachers have offered their services to help participants, Russell said.

A preview will be held at the Oak Harbor Senior Center and at Regency on Whidbey in Oak Harbor to give interested participants practice in front of an audience.

For those interested in showing their stuff in music, dancing or whatever their talent, the registration deadline is Saturday, Feb. 25.

An application, plus a complete list of audition dates and times, may be found on the event’s website at www.whidbeyhas talent.com